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Grant Recipient - STEMarts Lab & Paseo Project

Indigenous Cosmology Meets Particle Physics

In 2018, LANL Foundation provided grant funding for the STEMarts Lab, in conjunction with its fiscal sponsor Paseo Project, to design an intercultural curriculum and exciting three-day youth workshop called Indigenous Cosmology Meets Particle Physics.

Using projection art, students were expose to radical new science concepts in the field of particle physics while emphasizing the importance of indigenous cosmology and storytelling as an integrated worldview. The interdisciplinary workshop was led by a physics teacher, a Lakota Cultural Specialist, an astrophysicist from Los Alamos National Laboratory and a new media artist. The curriculum design was guided by Dr. Gregory Cajete, a Tewa author from Santa Clara Pueblo and Professor of Native American Studies at the University of New Mexico who is a leader in indigenous perspectives in sciences with an emphasis on health and wellness.

The workshop was part of the STEMarts at PASEO Youth Program that took place at Taos Pueblo Day School as an interschool collaboration with students from the Taos Integrated School of the Arts. The culminating project was a tipi projection in the gym of the Taos Day School for families and the final tipi installation presented during The PASEO festival on September 14 and 15, 2018. Animations created by the students in the workshop were projected onto the tipi for this international festival that brings together thousands of locals and visitors to Taos.

“The funding from the LANL Foundation allowed us to bring together an intercultural and interdisciplinary team to develop a workshop curriculum that uniquely combines western science and native science, explored through the cutting-edge new medium of projection art. The strategies developed are now being applied to all our programs to design exciting culturally responsive curricula,” said Agnes Chavez, STEMarts Lab Founder.

The mission of STEMarts Lab is to inspire passionate learning through innovative and immersive experiences. Art, science and technology are combined to explore real-world challenges through creative expression as a way to inspire and activate our future leaders. The STEMarts Lab applies the latest scientific research and technological innovations to the arts and education through interdisciplinary collaborations. In this work, sci-art installations and STEAM programming prioritize intercultural collaboration and culturally responsive curricula.

The Paseo Project, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, combines art, education and community that is local and global, respectful and inclusive. The organization is also the host of the annual PASEO festival that brings the arts to public spaces throughout the Taos Historic District.